Tap into your own curiosity and joy by connecting with peers, engaging with our farmyard, forest, lake, and wetlands, and learning practical activities and pedagogy you can easily employ in your own place. We’ll use hands-on activities, protocols, and shared learning to examine how the Big Ideas of Sustainability can instill a deep love and appreciation for the natural world in both you and your students.

We look forward to this week every year because no program is the same and it brings together a wonderful community of learners from all over who share, inspire, and support each other.

Cultivating Joy and Wonder is best suited for practicing early childhood educators (PreK-2nd Grade level), though all educators working with young children are welcome.

We are currently accepting registrations for 2023!

What You'll Learn

While we use the farm as a teaching tool, we’ve crafted this experience to support you no matter where you’re located. You’ll learn ways to utilize your community – be it a city, the suburbs, or a rural area – as a vital resource in your early education program. We’ll use a variety of protocols and provide opportunities for rich conversations to enhance our shared learning and inspire your curriculum with fresh ideas.

  • Build knowledge of developmentally appropriate place-based learning and gain tools and resources to use in the future.
  • Cultivate a learning network with peers and facilitators. 
  • Learn how to develop a curriculum that utilizes the natural world by exploring different ecosystems on our campus (farm, forest, lake, and wetland).
  • Increase your capacity to integrate farm to early education and education for sustainability into your classroom curriculum.

What Participants Say

This week has simultaneously reinvigorated me with new ideas and perspectives around teaching while also being a fun, informative, engaging and exciting week here on the farm and surrounding areas.

Cultivating Joy and Wonder Highlights

Meet the Core Instructor

Jed Norris, Early Childhood Program Coordinator, Shelburne Farms


Cultivating Joy and Wonder is offered once each summer at Shelburne Farms. 

Thanks to grant funding, participation is offered at no cost for 2023. In order to register, you must commit to attending the entire program. Visit our educator program calendar for details and to register.

Create Your Learning Pathway

Cultivating Joy and Wonder is a great immersion in place-based learning and will introduce you to the building blocks of Education for Sustainability.

After Cultivating Joy and Wonder, we suggest early childhood educators take the program Foundations in EFS.

Interested in graduate credit? Some of our programs, including Cultivating Joy and Wonder, are typically offered for optional credits for a fee. Contact us to learn more.


Connect With Us

Start a conversation with Jed Norris at jnorris@shelburnefarms.org or 802-985-0309 to talk about this program and available graduate credits. Or, complete our request for information form and someone will be in touch.